Cost of living crisis takes toll

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Cost of living crisis takes toll

Homelessness in Mount Gambier persists as an ongoing issue amidst the housing and cost of living crisis. Homelessness and Community Services senior manager Trish Spark said Mount Gambier continues to grapple with a significant number of homelessness cases.

During this financial year from July 1 to the end of October, recorded 275 people experiencing homelessness, and Ms Spark said this number would have since increased.

Numbers are very similar to the end of October this time last year, which was recorded at 289.

“It is still quite busy, we are getting lots of calls of people coming in every day, it has not eased off at this point in time,” she said.

Ms Spark said the primary factors contributing to homelessness were increasing housing prices and a shortage of available homes.

“The demand is outstripping supply,” she said.

“We are getting calls from more people who are actually working, but are not able to get another rental and who might have to move from one for some reason.

“We are getting more and more people who are not able to re-sign a lease because of the amounts they are going up at the end of the lease.

“For the housing crisis to end we need more houses, and that’s going to take more time.

“I know the government has given us some money for houses to be built in the region, but that does not happen overnight. We also need more affordable houses and housing for single people.

“Hopefully there’ll be light at the end of the tunnel, but I think it will be a while yet, another 12 months or more until we really start to see change.”

In regards for donations for those experiencing homelessness, Ms Spark said practical items are always sought after to help people get back on their feet once they do find housing.

“We can always do with things for the kitchen, pots and pans, dishes, tea towels, because we have some transitional houses that we need to keep those things up in,” she said.

“If people have been homeless and we get them into long-term housing they do not have those things.

“Linen and towels too; we are always looking for cleaning products to assist people, furniture that is in good condition, just virtually anything you have in your house, really, except not electrical items.

For those in need of assistance this Christmas, registrations are open for the Christmas appeal. is one of several Mount Gambier agencies that will be supported by the Mayor’s Christmas Appeal to provide grocery vouchers, toys and other items to residents in need.

Donations of new toys, non-perishable foods and other general items can be made direct to the Mount Gambier Community Centre.

To donate directly to the Mayor’s Christmas appeal, call 8721 2555, or visit the City of Mount Gambier Civic Centre customer service counter.

Tins and ‘tap and go’ EFTPOS systems will also be available at local businesses.

“Last year we assisted over 200 families and I think it will easily be that many again this year, maybe even more,” Ms Spark said.

“So if anyone is out there wanting to donate food, toys, or cash to the Mayor’s Christmas Appeal, please do; anything to help out to give families a good Christmas, put Christmas dinner on the table, and so kids can get something from Santa.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, visit for assistance at 22 Ferrers Street or call 7725 3000.

If you see someone you do not know experiencing homelessness, let know of their whereabouts and a staff member will go and check on them.

To register for the appeal, contact the Mount Gambier Community Centre on 7725 3000 or visit 22-24 Ferrers Street.

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